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The season of 2008

Muskie fishing on the LOTWs in 2008 pretty fair. The season started out with a bang the frist week or so with lots of fish caught and some very big fish sighted. There was a tough period right toward the end of June and the first week or so of July with lots of bad weather, high winds and falling water temperatures. Once we got to mid July things changed dramatically and fishing greatly improved. Fishing stayed good through out all of August with little of the dreaded algae bloom showing up. Numerous large fish where caught in late July and August. Early September was still O.K. with little fishing pressure and still a good number of fish available, however the big ones where hard to find for some reason. The October trolling season was fair, but not as good as I've seen. I managed two 50" plus fish trolling with is down a little from what I usually get while trolling.

Overall it was a good year with 179 fish in the boat, with 13 from 48" to 53". Double Cows Girls where again the best lure in my boat accoundting for at least 70% of the fish caught. The number of fish that are caught on figure-8's on these lures is almost unbelievable. If you aren't doing a good figure-8 you will miss a lot of fish well using the DCGs.

The water levels  where pretty high for the first part of the year, then went down to near normal in August and September, and then started to raise in the late fall. Overall water clarity was about as good as I've seen it for the past 15 years or so. I'm really not sure why, except that we never got any real hot weather, but maybe there are other reasons.

There was very little good weed growth, probably because of an increasing population of Rusty Crayfish, but there may have been other reasons as well. It seems like there's less weed growth every year, hope this doesn't effect muskie spawning success in the future.

I'm all ready looking forward to 2009.

 

2009 was an interesting year.

The year started out with a bang, and the first week (June 19th) we saw and caught a good number of muskies. Didn't get any big ones but we saw a good number of them. However, starting the last week of June and most of July we had some of the worst muskie fishing weather I've seem in many years. Water temperatures struggled to get into the low 60's and the wind blew almost every day out of the NW. It was much more like October than July and we caught a fair number of fish trolling, much like we do in the fall.

As August and September came around we saw increasingly better conditions and the fish responded. Some of the best fishing we had this year was in early to mid September, which is much different than normal. With the cool water temperatures the dreaded algae bloom didn't show up till late September and the fishing was the best I've at that time of year, so you never know what will happen. Late September brought a very nasty algae bloom to most of the dark water areas of the LOTWs (one of the worst I've seen, for a short while). Fishing for a couple of weeks during this period was pretty slow.

Water temperature fell rapidly during the first week or so of October (mid 50's) and we started trolling.  October sort of made up for July as we had very nice weather with steady or slowly falling water temperatures, which I like. Trolling for me was very good with 45 fish in 22 days with seven fish from 50" to 53", one of my better falls. Ended up with 141 fish in the boat (low numbers), but had eight fish 50" or better which is a pretty fair year for me

Seems like there's still a good number of fish in the LOTWs, with a seemingly nice year class distribution. Still a little worried about the destruction of the weed beds by the Rusty Crayfish, but the fish still seem to be here.

Winding down my guiding career, hope to do it some still, but not as much. I'll be 71 in February.

Still I'll be after them next year as always.

Doug Johnson